Podcasts Mission Audition Becoming a Performer with Kim Handysides
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Becoming a Performer with Kim Handysides

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On Today’s episode of Mission Audition, we are joined by talent and voice coach Kim Handysides, to discuss the Performer’s Mindset of engaging with a script in a natural way.
Kim is dialing in on how to approach a piece of copy and how to sound more natural and genuine. We discuss the small variations that make all the difference in today’s Voice Over market.

Participant #1:
But if you haven't been reading out loud every day for half an hour, every day, as long as you want to be a voiceover actor or gone to a coach and learned about how to break a script apart and understand the message and who you're talking to and everything, you end up presenting hunting material that sounds like the last time that you read out loud. And for most of us, that was, like, in grade ten.

Participant #1:
Welcome to this episode of Mission Audition. I am today's host, Kyle Flynn, platinum account manager here at Voices, and I'm joined by cohost Vanessa Bucci. Amazing. So with that said, let's go ahead and hop into today's discussion relating to the mindset of a performer. Before we get into any auditions, let's first start by introducing our amazing guests. Joining us here today, we welcome Kim Handy Sides, a successful voice actor. Since the dawn of the millennials, Kim has voiced 20,000 projects, from commercials to corporate narrations, TV series Elearning VOGs, and Audiobooks. Kim coaches and creates demos for commercials and narration and is happy to give you a leg up in this diverse, creative, and lucrative field. Not only has Kim won a Soviet award, but she's also worked with some amazing clients, such as Airbnb, American Express, Apple TV, at and T, Audi, Three M and many more. What a list. Kim, thank you for joining us here today. You're welcome. Did we welcome you? All right, did anything you want to elaborate? No, I'm thrilled to be here. I love, love that you guys do Mission Audition. It is one of the most helpful, I think, for people who are wanting to book more, wanting to work. Very true. And it's so appreciated that we have experts like yourself joining us to take talent along the journey of bettering themselves in this industry. So thank you very much for spending the time with us. My pleasure. All right, so for a review of today's job posting, here is the background information. There is a short explainer video for insurance agents on how they can help clients figure out when they will receive funding for their auto accident claims. It is a video that new employees watch as part of their onboarding training. The lead should be friendly and professional, as though insurance agents are hearing from a peer. I think we've all heard those artistic directions before hearing from a peer friendly professional. How many job postings have you seen that in, Kim? Oh, my gosh, 85%. I think that would sound about right. Yeah. So very popular artistic direction and specs for today's job. So hopefully lots of great information to be chatted about. And with that, let's go ahead and hop right into audition number one. Helping a client through their accident claim can be a difficult process. Not only is the client still in shock from their experience, they may also be awaiting their funds or pay out if a client calls and wants to know when their claim will be processed and when they will receive their funds. Here are the steps you should take. All right, Kim. So after having it listened there, please share your thoughts. Well, there's a lovely quality to this person's voice. There's a gentleness. There's a kindness that is authentic, and that's nice. The friendliness is coming through. You can see that this is a real person. Unfortunately, though, there's just not enough impact. I'm not sure if it's really friendly or if there's a little bit of a shyness that's coming in that's making it her self conscious. I'm not quite sure about that. If you're talking about insurance or anything financial, the hallmark of that genre is trust, right. And what comes from trust? Confidence. So there's a little bit of a confidence that I'm feeling that is lacking in that read. Also, the spec said professional. The friendly was there, but there was one other spectral conversational was pretty good, actually. But, yeah, not really professional. It did sound like it was a peer, but I don't know. It's a hard line to ride being conversational and also being the voice of the company. Right. You are the voice of the company, so you want to you have all of that weight of that financial institution or insurance company behind you to be able to represent. So I felt like that trust element was missing, and it's important to think what I think this is something that I've come across just recently, that it's like talking about the performer mindset, the idea of, what are you trying to impact? What are you trying to do? I just don't think that maybe the person had the idea of an idea of how they wanted to affect the listener, but it didn't quite come through to me. Definitely, I agree with a lot of what you said there, especially around the regard of she did have a very friendly and warm tone. But one thing that also stood out to me, and it kind of goes back to that feeling confident kind of sound. There is. It was very quiet, and I know through our statistics here at Voices, typically quiet auditions are not selected. So definitely that's something that stuck out to me. I know you've had your casting director hat on recently and been doing some of that yourself. How do you feel with regards to volume and its impact on your chances? It's huge.

Participant #1:
If you're listening and you're listening to ABC defG and all of a sudden D is a lot lower than everybody else, you kind of go, what is there something wrong? What's wrong with their tech? And it makes me think that if they haven't got their tech figured out the way everybody else has, then can I trust them to be able to deliver for my client? So Voices does an amazing kyle, you do an amazing job teaching people with online videos and other support on the system on voices of how to be able to make sure that your sound is pristine and is competitive. So that would be something that would be really helpful for this person. I think we appreciate that, and it's all to do with the help of you guys as experts, and I also want to throw it over to Vanessa here. Did you have any thoughts on that recording? Anything that you kind of draw from that? Yeah, I totally agreed with what you said about the confidence. So what would be something that you would essentially give advice for in the sense of being more confident? Would it be just to be more upbeat, like, more energetic? Because if it's about insurance, right? It is about the trust and the confidence. So that's a great question, Vanessa. Sometimes I think that voice seekers think in terms of the outcome of what they want to hear. They want to hear make it be more upbeat, more energetic, et cetera. Whereas performers, what we need to think of is, what is it that I have to do inside my head, inside my imagination to get me there? So then what I would do is I'd say to this person, what happened just the moment before surrounding? Are you in a coffee shop and you're laid, or are you in, like, a lounge? Are you laid back? Are you in a boardroom? Are you in a meeting with person face to face across a desk? Where are you? In the park talking to somebody? What's happening around you, imagining your space? Imagine that the person just asked you a question just before that, and then you can answer your responding with something that has more energy, and it will be more authentic. And then the other thing is, as I mentioned, thinking, what are you trying to make the other person how are you trying to make the other person feel? Are you trying to make them feel interested, engaged, confident in you and what you're saying? I think sometimes one of the problems is that we think too much about ourselves and not about the other person. And the other person, as I say it's, the other person in the scene is the listener. And so it's like focusing on them will make your performance better all the time, because it will make it more authentic, and it'll just lift it up. Whereas if you're thinking about, what do I have to do? I have to be more upbeat? I have to be more energetic? No, focus on the other person. What do you want them to feel? You want them to feel excited about this? You have an essay. You called me Kim. We all have an arsenal of tools and tricks that we use every day in our lives as just normal people to engage each other. Right? Right. Yeah. I like that. Like, visualization. That's really awesome. Yeah. And that's something that athletic performers use a lot as well visualization. Yeah. And I think that's the difference between truly connecting with the script and just voicing a script right. Is getting that other side and understanding their viewpoint to engage them 100%. Great. Thanks so much for that. So with that, that leads us into our next audition. Audition number two helping a client do their accident claim can be a difficult process. Not only is the client still in shock from their experience, they may also be awaiting their funds or payout. If a client calls and wants to know when their claim will be processed and when they'll receive their funds, here's the steps you should take. Awesome. So with that audition, I think there's probably a couple of things that are standing out to us here. But, Kim, let's get your take. Actually, there's a levity and a funness in this voice that is almost borderline quirky, and I think that there's some great personality in the person, in the performer herself, but it didn't come through, unfortunately, in the audition, in terms of what the spec wants. So the spec wants friendly, professional, informative, right? That's right. Okay, good.

Participant #1:
Again, this performer is not thinking about the other person. They're getting locked in the script. They're getting locked in the script. And so they're investing way too much in the words as opposed to thinking about the overall message. When normal people are communicating, we have the advantage of making up our own words. We don't have to deal with other people's words, which is what we have to deal with all the time as a voiceover actor and try to make them sound authentic. So what we have is this incredible, beautiful alchemy of idea, thought, cadence, pitch, rhythm choices that we make as natural people to communicate with each other. And word script analysis is extremely important. But having the ability to be able to look at your words, understand what the message is, and then apply that kind of living in the moment of feeling that, like I say, cadence, pitch, rhythm, word choice, all that kind of stuff, that magic of communication. There's a little bit of a disconnect that's going on here. So I think that she's too invested in the words without thinking about the overall message and what that impact her words have on the listener. Some of the words that I heard that she emphasized and were just a bit too much, we're like shock funds, I think, initial. So that's not saying that you shouldn't lean into certain words. You should you should lean into certain words, but authentically. So one of the things that I coach when I'm working with people is studying your own patterns of speech because you're the artist. So then let's start with your own canvas, the canvas of you. And how do you emphasize words? What do you do? What tricks do you do to pull out and sparkle certain expressions? And do you elongate words? Do you go up in pitch? Do you speed things up really quickly? Do you slow it down? Do you use air quotes around words to pop something up? What do you do naturally? Because what's happening here is she's trying to add heat to certain words, and it's not coming across like it would probably have. She spoke authentically in her own real world, real speech. Right. Yeah. That's a great explanation, actually, to bounce off of that. How did you find her pace? Her pacing didn't bother me at all. Okay. In casting and listening to these things, we're looking for distractions. What are the things that take you out of the moment? And so, for me, the biggest thing that took me out of the moment was odd emphasis on certain words not coming across authentically. But Vanessa absolutely. Pacing could be another thing because the words were so not what I wanted to be hearing. I didn't really notice whether the pacing was killing it or not. And I found, just as you said, kind of the overemphasis on words where it didn't sound as authentic almost made the pacing seem different because it draws out those words a little bit. Right. And it kind of makes it sound not as kind of, let's say, conversational, because it felt overemphasized, which I think relates to how it comes across pacing, because it feels like it's slowing down or speeding up kind of in odd positions than you may expect because of those overemphasized words. Yeah. It's subtlety. It's fascinating because voiceover has evolved so much over the last 15 years

Participant #1:
in this program, we're going to be learning A, B, and C from that to now in this program, we're going to be talking about A, B, and C. It's like so much more natural, right? Yeah. Naturalism went into movies in the 50s, it went into commercials in the 2000s. Now it's into everything else in voiceover. But sometimes there's a little bit of, like, sheen that has to happen as well on top of it. So there's so many little subtle things we have to think about. Definitely. And speaking on that something I think is worth noting because I do feel and let me know if you feel the same here, Kim, even beyond the read, unfortunately, standing in this talent way would be audio. I did notice it sounding a little spacey. I could hear a little I don't know if I would say echo, but I could hear space there. And it threw me off from a way where a client is likely going to say, okay, can I rely on this? Is this somebody that when I booked them, I'm going to get proper audio? Because it did sound a little bit spacey, and I could hear room in that audio for improvement, for sure. What were your thoughts there? Yeah, again, I think I was like the same thing with Pay. I was focusing on the words. But yeah, I mean, that audio wasn't recorded at a good level, but maybe there were some things that could have been tweaked and tweaking your audio is a much easier fix than a quicker fix than fixing your performance. Performance takes time. Yeah, for sure. 100%. And it's one of those things that if you don't pay attention to it and really reel it into a proper position, you can have the best rate in the world. But unfortunately, that's going to stand in your way and be the best performer out there. But because of your audio, you're not getting gigs. So like you said, it can be at least a fairly simple thing to provide a solution to, but definitely something that is more than worthwhile. So I encourage everybody to make sure their audio is top specs, because a client will pick another talent that does have top specs audio. So yep. So leaning into addition number three, we're going to go ahead and take a listen here to that. Helping a client to their accident claim can be a difficult process. Not only is the client is still in shock from their experience, they may also be awaiting their funds or payout. If a client calls and wants to know when their claim will be processed and when they receive their funds, here are the steps you should take. So, as we can see the shift from the last two additions to this one here. Kim, let us know your thoughts. Okay,

Participant #1:
in an odd way, that doesn't quite match the music of authentic spoken word, so I know do you guys talk about this a lot, the music of spoken word? It's like, one, two, three, I just did it. You can go back. In fact, eons ago, when I was starting, I took some lessons from an opera singer to learn about breathing, and she talked a lot about going back and forth between singing and spoken word. And she would get us to go la until we could go la. We could say the same note speaking or singing, that kind of develop the ear. Oh, my gosh. I'm going off on a tangent here. We encourage that this person has a very interesting voice, but we all know that voice is actually about 10% to 15% of the gig. 85% of it is all the other stuff. And what's happening here is there's a confidence that's coming through. There's also kind of like a little bit of a reedyness. There's a very measured way that he's talking. And when you're reading, we are measured. That's how we're taught to read. When we're speaking naturally, we are not measured. You can look at your waveform and see the differences and the bumps and the spaces in between actual speech and red speech. So it sounds a little greedy. And there's also a little bit of an issue, I found with his diction. His addiction is not a little muddied. Again, in casting, if you're looking at what are the distractions? And you're looking at who has the least amount of distractions. The distraction of his diction would be a big minus. There are some words that are being eaten, some words that are being kind of swallowed. So that would be something that again, I would go to a speech therapist and or there are a few coaches that are singers that coach voice over people on how to be able to clear up your dictionary diction actually can be cleared up between three and six months. It's not a long thing. So that's something that I would work on. What did you guys think? Yeah, it almost sounds like a little bit dark to me. Almost like that's kind of the first thing I thought of. But what would you say that this voice would probably be better for the delivery is more you're right. It's not friendly right now. It's more like you've got a problem and we're going to fix it. That kind of thing. Yeah, it's darker maybe I'd hear that on a political spot. Yeah, especially in the tech head. And I noticed in that even after the first two auditions, we're much more natural tones. I found this one to be very processed, almost bringing it back to the days of major compressions and really kind of going for that boom voice. Right. Yeah. And I feel like this really leaned into that rather than the more natural, the more friendly tones I feel. It was really processed audio wise, which unfortunately can be a deterrent, especially in today's market. Absolutely. Where people are looking for that natural sound. Right. What do you typically because I'm sure you see it time and time again as a coach yourself, what do you typically offer as advice to people that are more in for lack of a better term, let's say kind of that announce resound where it's very compressed and saturated. What are your typical piece of advice for those types of students? I will say go to a professional sound engineer or other service that can offer you a stack so that you can have something that is along with your EQ but a stack of certain plugins that will help you create the best sound you can. I do that myself whenever I am sending any audition out unless they've asked for a raw form I just do my quick EQ to -1.5 drop in my stack and then EQ it again to -1.5 and then send it off and when I bought my stack I said can I please just have it just make it to an explainer explainer great because I feel explainer does handles everything. It handles commercial, it handles Elearning corporate and explainers even gaming and stuff like that. It has the most natural sound, I find definitely very neutral as well where like you said, it can be very versatile. You mentioned the thing about broadcasting. I actually work a lot with people who have broadcasting backgrounds because I worked in broadcasting myself for nine years before I became a full time vo. And it's really interesting because in broadcasting, especially news, in dealing with script,

Participant #1:
I don't know if you're taught to, but you end up becoming detached from the script, detached from the news report in order to be able to be that kind of neutral announcer kind of a thing. And so if you've had several years of being detached to the script, then what you have to work on is becoming attached to the message, the people, the emotions, the heart. Where's the heart? Yes, I was going to say the emotions for sure is the important part there. Yeah, agreed. I had a really good success story, actually, with as you guys know, I'm Platinum account manager and one of our Platinum members. He had a very long standing career in radio, and he had went through some struggles in booking voice work after making the switch to full time. And he said the best investment he ever made was going ahead, investing in a coach, learning that conversational more natural sound, and since his business has skyrocketed. So that was one that really stood out to me, is he literally credited everything to that training and coaching that he did to be more natural, to get reattached to those scripts and those emotions, basically unlearning his past traits. Beautiful. All right, that brings us to our next audition. Audition number four. Helping a client through their accident claim can be a difficult process. Not only is a client still in shock from their experience, they may also be awaiting their funds or payout. If a client calls and wants to know when their claim will be processed and when they will receive their funds, here are the steps you should take. All right, Kim, what are your thoughts? Let's get it rolling on this audition. Okay, well, first off, yeah, the sound stood out for me. It sounded like a little bit like he's talking from a can. And so that was the first kind of thing that grabbed me. But the overall thing for me was I didn't feel that this one was friendly. I felt that this was

Participant #1:
informative. There was professional, but there was no friendly. There was no friendly. And it's really funny. I don't know how many times I've thought, okay, I look at a spec, and then I go off in a direction, and then important look back at the spec and then relisten to what you did. Did you fulfill? Did you go tick, tick, tick on everything? Because sometimes we get in our heads, we voice actors, and we think we're doing the right thing, and it's like, Oh, no, I didn't fulfill the spec. This is not friendly enough. It sounds a little rushed. And again, the diction was not as pristine as other people, and so that needs to be worked on to bounce off what you said you said it's a little rushed. Did you find that it's also stagnant as well? Like kind of not going up and down in his voice? Yeah, well, it sounded like it was a report, but not even an exciting report, just sort of like it's just reading. So the last time, a lot of people think, oh, I'm going to become a voiceover actor, and because I have a nice voice, or because people tell me that I should, or that I've had this dream, et cetera, for so long. But if you haven't been reading out loud every day for half an hour, every day, as long as you want to be a voiceover actor or gone to a coach and learned about how to break a script apart and understand the message and who you're talking to and everything, you end up presenting material that sounds like the last time that you read out loud. And for most of us, that was like, in grade ten, right? Yeah, exactly. Stand up and read from the textbook. And that was the last time that you had to read out loud. When I worked with people, I work with them on two aspects. I break things down into performance and technical. So performance is anything that deals with your imagination and technical is everything else. And when I say technical, I'm talking about technical from a performance point of view, not from your sound point of view, but that has to do with script analysis, that has to do with your flow, your pacing, your music. Yeah, it's a great point and I'm sure something that you work on a lot, and this is probably something that he could work on himself with that kind of tinny sound, probably lowering down the gain and what it's allowing to pick up and using a little bit more. My technique. So definitely technique is everything. And that goes far beyond the technical side of audio and such. It really does. It's overlooked often times, and you just go straight into your reading mode and yeah, there's just so much technique that goes into it and people like yourself they should really rely on because you guys do such an amazing job of breaking it down, making it consumable and really given that deeper picture. It's funny because I was talking to somebody about that and I said, well, where did you get all this? And it's like, well, I've been doing this for like, 40 years altogether, right? And so it's like, whatever you marinate in for that long, you think about it, you dissect it, you break it down, you sort out the wins and the misses. Why the miss? What did I do? Not quite right. There never you know, all of these people should be applauded 1000% because they're participating. Bravo. You because you're taking a risk. And that's what we need to do. We need to take risks, we need to learn from things. Okay, you gave it your best, but it's like, okay. It's funny because this is very much I find being a creative performer, a voiceover artist is very much like being an athlete because there are times when it's like a professional athlete is hockey player. For example, how many games do they win, how many games do they win, how many goals do they score? And how much do they practice beforehand? It's like, yeah, you got to put the time in, you got to put the love in, and then every once in a while you do get the wins and then you get more wins and then you get more and it's like it becomes cumulative. Yeah, definitely. I so much agree with the round of applause for these voice actors because half the work is throwing your name in the ring and getting started and there's no better practice than actually going forward and doing these auditions and putting yourself out there. So definitely massive applause to them because that's the road to where everybody who is successful in this industry has gone on. I've worked with 100 plus platinum members and each one of them were once upon a time in the shoes of getting started and submitting 100 auditions before they got their first job and going through that path. So definitely a round of applause for them. Absolutely. Awesome. So, alright, let's go forward and listen to our next audition. Audition number five. Helping a client through their accident claim can be a difficult process. Not only is the client still in shock from their experience, they may also be awaiting their funds or payout. If a client calls and wants to know when their claim will be processed and when they'll receive their funds, here are the steps you should take. All right, let's start with you, Kim. What are your thoughts? Okay, well, lovely voice, lovely smile. Nice and conversational sounded professional. The problem was that it sounded, I think it was a little bit too smiley, that there was not quite enough range in the emotions of what we're talking about. So it's like I'm just going to paste a smile on my voice and just tell you everything in the same kind of tone, in the same approach. And it doesn't quite work like that because even if we're talking about something great, we still have other things that are happening. And it doesn't mean that you have to get married to the emotional impact of a word like shock, for example. You don't have to go shock, but it's more the emotional impact of the person who's hearing the person who's what are they hearing? Right? So, you know, on the word process was too smiley and it comes off insincere process. It comes off insincere. And I'm sorry, I don't mean to belittle or hurt anybody at all. Not at all. But it's just like, rather than because there's a difference between a technical smile, which sometimes really is what we need to be able to get through something. And a smile from your heart. I'll say to people sometimes, and I'll do this myself, put your hand on your heart when you're about to speak so that you remember you're a human talking to a human, right? Yeah. Let's be real. I think you highlighted a really great part there where, yes, very professional, yes, very friendly, and she's checking these boxes, but it comes down to those very slight nuances, right? And we're going to hear that through these auditions of how close it can be when making that final decision. So I think you really, actually did a great job at saying, hey, she took this box and that box, but there's so much more to it, right? Yeah. There was another word that stood out for me on the word shock. She said it with such a smile that she didn't have enough space for the heartbreak that can come in to someone who's insurance, who's just gone through a flood or a fire or something else. There's some poignancy in there that can be grabbed. And it doesn't mean you still don't be friendly. It just means that you allow room for some of that other emotion to be able to come in and then you can go back to your friendliness. But it's like allow space within a line, even for shifts. We love that as humans, right? We love to listen to transitions. We love to listen to different stories, right? So it's the story, definitely. And listening to that, the one thing I did really enjoy was the audio was there. The audio is definitely there. So we've heard in that previous audition a little bit of that tinny sound, whereas this was very strong audio. And I think that's good to recognize and kind of train your ear towards for anyone who's listening, those differences in that slight nuance of those minor details that really make all the difference. So definitely lots of great things to pull away here, but as Kim said, just some little tweaks there that would push this over the edge. Absolutely awesome. So let's go forward with the next audition. Number six. Helping a client through their accident claim can be a difficult process. Not only is the client still in shock from their experience, they may also be awaiting their funds or payout. If a client calls and wants to know when their claim will be processed and when they will receive their funds, here are the steps you should take. Wow. I feel like that was a good one, but that's just me. What did you think, Ken? I really liked that one, too. That was really nice. In fact, my first list and I went, wow, I love that. That's it. So it's interesting. Is this true? Like, when you're going through a list of like 60 auditions or whatever, I've heard very often, get it in as quickly as you can because you're listening for the first one that you love and that becomes your benchmark, and then that is the one that you compare everything else to, I guess, right? Yeah. So he would be our benchmark of, like, oh, that's really, really great, because he's friendly, he's professional, he's informative. So he would be like, okay, now I'd have to listen again. What was wrong? The pacing was pretty good with that. It was premature of fact, which is another way of saying millennial read. My daughter and I argue about that all the time. That's millennial to me. And she says, mom, it's not millennial. Stop that. That's awesome. Yeah, exactly. This one really, like, set the foundation for you. Yeah, it was good. The only thing is I don't know, was this one a little bit low? What did you think of the audio on it? Are you talking in regards to tone, like, relating to friendly, say, are you meaning in that sense? No, I'm not sure. What did you think of the audio on that one? I thought the audio was strong enough, but not at the level of, say, the previous audition that we listened to. I did notice there was very slight nuance there that would stop it from being the top notch audio. Yeah. Did you notice that as well? Yeah, I did. And that's unfortunate because that is fixing your audio. Your sound chain is one of the easiest things to get to fix. And for that to hold him back from getting this would be a shame. We'll see. But in terms of his performance, I really liked what he was doing. There was a nice balance between friendly, approachable, professional, informative, and it's not an easy thing to ride, but I think he did a pretty good job of that. Such a fine line to go from our previous audition where it was almost too friendly, to this one, where it's riding that benchmark of kind of the sweet spot, but it can kind of fall on either side. So it really comes down to these very slight decisions that voice actors are making in the moment that really dictate the winner of this. So like you said, let's see how it plays out. Great. So our next audition audition number seven. Helping a client through their accident claim can be a difficult process. Not only is the client still in shock from their experience, they may also be awaiting their funds or payout. If a client calls and wants to know when their claim will be processed and when they will receive their funds, here are the steps you should take. Helping a client through their accident claim can be a difficult process. Not only is the client still in shock from their experience, they may also be awaiting their funds or payout. If a client calls and wants to know when their claim will be processed and when they will receive their funds. Here are the steps you should take. All right, Kim, I want to start this off with a quick question. When somebody's submitting two takes, as you have your casting director hat on, do you like them to say two takes? Do you like them to hop right into it? And beyond that, which take did you prefer? Unless I've given a specific naming convention where they shouldn't identify it, I like it in the name of the file so that I can see that there's two takes in the file. And then I don't like a slate myself. I feel it's a time waster. Secondly, I don't like anything that identifies the name of the person, because when I'm casting, I don't care. I don't care about your name. True. Yeah. I don't care who you are. I really don't. I'm sorry. Sorry. Not sorry, but I just want to hear your performance, and please don't waste my time, because I've got a lot of these to get through. And so then if someone has given two takes, I want that second take to be different. And this was exactly the same. There was a tiny, little subtle differences on if you're going to assume that I will give you that time to hear two takes when everybody else has just given me one, if they're the same, what it says to me is, you don't respect my time because you haven't gone through. And what I do as a performer, every time if I've done two takes, I will go through. Listen to take one, line A, take two, line A, which is the best line? Pick that line. Take one, line two, take two, line two, which is the best line, and I'll put them together because I respect the time of my casting person. Yes. These are things that are in our control. Not everything in our job is in our control. Yeah. But these things that we can do, that we can fix beforehand, these are in our control. You send out the absolute best, and if you do do a take two, do something different. Go ahead. Yeah, I thought that's very interesting, actually, because I agree. I do find that it does sound the same. So I just wonder what they might have thought that it would have sounded different. Right. If they're going to do two takes. So I wonder what was kind of going through their mind in order to do two and say that they sound different. So in my mind that's either someone who is insecure, doesn't know which one is which or hasn't been around in the industry very long because they can't tell the difference between one and the other, they think that the second take is different, but it's really not. It's just more of the same. Whereas someone who maybe has been around in the industry or has taken some coaching will understand that a take two is going to be based on something that will still tick the boxes but will elicit a different emotion. We'll start off in a different place. So it may be someone who's doing something, I don't know, just a little bit of snarky, a little bit of a little bit of drive, a little bit of intimacy, a little bit of just something different than the first one. Yeah, I really like what you had said with regards to going back, listening to line by line in comparison and merging them. Because as you know, I mean, we were talking about this beforehand, going through so many auditions. How much of that casting director's time are you going to get on each audition? And as much as two takes can be a successful practice in certain scenarios, it is very rare that you're going to get a full 30 seconds of a casting director's time when they're going through the initial listings. So really capitalizing on that first piece they're going to hear. Because the problem is if they don't know there's two takes or they don't take the time to listen to the second take. And that was really the one that you thought stood out the best. Well, it completely went unheard. Did you accomplish anything with that second take? So I really love the idea of boiling it down to one take and getting the best of both into it and editing them together. I really love that idea. And the other thing that another little tip trick, whatever that I do often is I'll go through the whole thing and then I'll say the first two lines again at the end because my energy toward the end often is different than my energy at the beginning. And so read through once and then go back to the top first two lines and then see, compare there is my energy. It's like maybe at the end I kicked it kind of thing. And I didn't quite kick it at the beginning, I was a little softer. But if I end up kicking it and then I go back in at the top and I go, hey, this is what the first line is supposed to be. And I've got that same kind of energy. The other thing that I think is really important and important insight for people to understand from the people sitting in your seat as casting people is that when you get to like number 40 or 55, you're tired.

Participant #1:
Sometimes you break it up in a couple of sessions, which is really great because then you have better energy to come to it, to respect the artist. But at the same time it's like, oh man, please capture me in that 1st 4 seconds. Do something. And one of the things that I teach people is do your first instinct and then think of something completely different. If you're stuck, go wild. Think, okay, do your thing. Do you think? And then how would Fred Flintstone say this? How would you know, how would somebody completely different you know, say this, I don't know, mork from ork whatever, and then go back to it in a different way. It shakes it up and gets you out of your rut. Right. Obviously, you don't submit Mark From Ork or Fred Flintstone, but yeah, getting yourself completely out, that's a really great perform an actor trick that you can use. I'm full of these things. I call them sound booth shortcuts, and it's like getting there quickly. I love that. I think it really pulls you out into that we're a creative field, and it really brings that energy back and gets you to be a little bit more creative and flex those muscles. So I love that. Yeah. In terms of the other things for her, I felt she was a little sibling. Did you hear that? Yes, I did hear a little bit of that there. Again, those subtleties right. How much they can make a difference. I agree. Yeah. And the friendliness factor was present, but not as warm as I thought it could be. Perfect. All right, so with that said, that brings us to today's final audition. Audition number eight. All right, let's go ahead and listen. Helping a client through their accident claim can be a difficult process. Not only is the client still in shock from their experience, they may also be awaiting their funds or payout. If a client calls and wants to know when their claim will be processed and when they will receive their funds, here are the steps you should take. All right, I think I like that one. Kim, what's your thoughts? Yeah, she's ticking the boxes there. She's professional. She's friendly. She's appropriately friendly. She's informative. There's still a little bit of, like a matter of fact, I can tell that she's sharing information, but I feel like she's talking to me. I am engaged. One thing that stood out is I found that she kind of would have been nice to have had a pause in between the sentences, but, I mean, that's fixable. I talk about the power of the pause, and I know a lot of pro voiceover actors, people who've been in the industry for 15, 2030 years, we talk about what in writing, they call it the white space, like the blank space on the page. It's the same thing with voice. It's like that the power of the pause. The power of the silence. I find that a pause indicates to the person that maybe they're waiting for you listener, to speak to them or acknowledge them somehow. Right. And it's not like you're just kind of spewing words into the void, which is what happens when people don't pause. It's like, Oh, right. Are they talking to me? No, they're not talking to me. There's no possibility for me to say right. Like Vanessa just did. Right. Yeah. It's like almost trying to create a flow of the conversation. Right. Yeah. I think that happens when the people don't think about the other person. Definitely see them in their heads. It doesn't allow for that emotion to be pulled. When you let that breathe a little bit, let somebody soak that in and feel it right. Rather than just immediately onto that next line. This is super key in audiobooks, right. Because in audiobooks, you're like building a world and takes them, the person, the listener time to be able to imagine that stream and that fishing line popping down and that gun crackle in the background or whatever it is that you're reading. Definitely. And I think we had chatted before and I want to encourage you to kind of shed light on this. I know this was one of your top runners, so walk me through what you had thought and what's going through your mind when today we are picking a winning audition. And Kim, what went through your mind while deciding that yeah,

Participant #1:
in terms of her performance. So that little pause, I think what I would probably do is I'd say, okay, if I was going to say, okay, you've got the job, I'd say just please make sure that you allow a little bit of breathing room in between phrases, in between sentences or something like that. Or I could fix it in the mix if that's the only thing that is holding her back. I thought, wow, I liked what she was doing. It's not perfect, but that's what also makes it accessible. Right? Yeah. So that's nice. We don't want to hear perfect. Exactly. Yeah. We want to hear real. And that's the difference when they say real person conversational. I don't know if we got time for this. I had a cool little story where I was doing I'm going to dive into it anyway, guys. All right, please do. Okay. I had a cool little story where I was doing a bunch of explainers, 20 explainers for a funeral app. And I was actually really excited to work on this because they were not taking the dearly beloved, kind of like, very morbid approach. They were taking the let's talk boomer to boomer kind of thing. It's coming up. Don't leave your kids with a mess, that kind of a thing. And so that really resonated with me. So I gave them a sample of what I thought it should be and then for them to just verify before I launched into recording 20 of these babies. And I wasn't quite sure what to do with the title. You got to get the name of the product correct. Right. So I will do this off and I'll send just a little MP3 of me just talking to the person, saying, hey, I'm really excited. And that's what I did. I said, Hey, Lindsey, I'm really excited to be able to work on this project with you. I'm psyched about everything. I really feel like I understand this a lot. I just am not quite sure what to do with the name, is it this or is it this? And so then I sent that little MP3 off to them, and they said, we really liked your sample. Your sample was great, but we loved what you did with the pronunciation. You were just so authentic, so yourself, just be that. And I went, Yeah, for sure. Got it. Okay. That's amazing. I love that. That's a great story. Thanks for sharing that. Yeah, my pleasure. And to circle back, I love the idea of, again, these nuances, and I hate to repeat it, but as you said, pacing here wasn't perfect, but it's very, very coachable. And when you hire that, she was hitting everything else. She had the friendly, the professional, she had the audio, she had everything. And pacing such a simple direction to give. So that's a very easy fix. And I know you had mentioned with Eric, he was actually likely your favorite read, but just that slight audio problem is a little bit more difficult than just pacing. Right. So that's what held you back from editors. I said, Eric, take that out, please. So audition number six, that's what held you back, is that little bit of audio there, that gives you a little bit more concern than a simple direction around pace. Is that correct? Exactly. Yeah, you're right. Those are my two favorites. And frankly, his pacing was better, and so I would lean more to him from a performance point of view. But because tech is important, I don't know if I can fix that. I don't know if he can fix that. And we got to have this done by tomorrow or whatever the deadline is. Exactly. So that makes me lean away from him and more to this last one that we just heard, because that is something that can be fixed in a note, in a direction. Right? Amazing. So you guys heard it. We have picked a winner. Winner. Audition number eight. Let's listen to it one more time. Helping a client through their accident claim can be a difficult process. Not only is the client still in shock from their experience, they may also be awaiting their funds or payout. If a client calls and wants to know when their claim will be processed and when they will receive their funds, here are the steps you should take. Amazing. The heart is there, but it's still, like, not out on the line. The friendliness is there, but it's appropriate because we're talking about insurance. Yeah, for sure. The professionalism is there. It's like she's got it together. I trust what she's saying. She's being in. So that's the thing. I love it. Congratulations to this talent. Great job. And thank you to all talent that participated in today's episode. Without you guys would not be possible. I hope you all took some valuable information here. And thank you very much, Kim, for sharing your expertise and all of the knowledge that you have. So thank you very much. Thank you guys so much. So great to hang out with you and do something that we all love. This is amazing. Thank you. No problem. So how can we get in touch with you? Oh, okay. Through my website, which is Kimhandysidesvoiceover.com. You can reach me there. I have a coaching page with all different kinds of options there, but if you have any questions or anything you want to just reach out to me, you can always email [email protected], and I usually get back to you within 24 hours or less. Perfect. Okay, well, please subscribe to the podcast. If you're looking to find today's script or any others, check out our blog on voices.com blog, and any additional resources from Kim. Feel free to check out her socials. Kim, thank you so much and let's give one last shout out. What's the website? Where can they find you? Kimhandisidesvoiceover.com. That's the one. Awesome. Well, that's it for today's episode. Thank you all for joining and listening and hope you loved. And that's a wrap for me, Kyle Flynn and Vanessa Bouchie. Kim, thank you very much and until next time, everyone, happy auditioning. Thank you, guys.

Geoff Bremner

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